House passes major budget deal after Rand Paul singlehandedly shutdown the gov’t overnight

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are breathing a sigh of relief.

Following the Senate’s lead, the House of Representatives passed a major budget deal early Friday morning, ending a brief overnight government shutdown that occurred after Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) refused to support the measure on Thursday.

(AP Photo/Jon Elswick).

The 240-186 House vote sent the $400 million spending bill to President Trump, who is expected to sign it, WBNG reported.

The bipartisan legislation, which keeps the government running until March, raised the debt ceiling, allocated $160 billion to the Pentagon and another $128 billion for domestic spending.

The latter includes $10 billion for infrastructure, along with $2.9 billion for child care and $3 billion for addressing the national opioid epidemic.

House Minority Leader Nancy (D-CA). (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais).

The bill also provides $80 billion in disaster relief for hurricane devastated areas in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, as well as aid for places affected by wildfires.

The measure was opposed by lawmakers from both parties. Some Democrats took issue with the lack of action on immigration. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced he will open a floor debate on immigration next week.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI). (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin).

Some fiscally-minded Republicans disapproved of the bill’s increased spending, among them Sen. Paul, whose refusal on Thursday to move up the time for a vote on the bill forced the vote to occur procedurally after 1am on Friday–causing a brief government shutdown.

Paul, acknowledging the criticism from members of his own party, said he was “drawing attention to the debt” and added “I didn’t come up here to be liked.”

“And while I don’t want the government to shut down, I also don’t want to keep it open if we’re not going to reform it,” Paul said. “It’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t. We could have one better. You know, we could have moved forward with a responsible spending package that had amendments that we could all offer on the floor, an open amendment process and a debate.”

Ultimately, the Senate passed the bill 71 to 28.

McConnell thanked Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for his cooperation in what he called a “bipartisan” effort.

Skirting shutdowns seems to have become the latest Washington phenomenon.

Luis Miguel

Luis Miguel

Luis Miguel is a South Florida-based writer covering politics, society, and culture.
Luis Miguel

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